TikTok. A phenomenon. A treasure trove of content. And, for some folks, a little confusing. This global powerhouse began in China in 2016. It quickly escalated in popularity during the 2020 global pandemic. In fact, it was the third fastest growing company in 2020, second only to Zoom and Peacock. It’s now all over the world and available in 40 languages.
This app deems itself a “destination for short-form mobile videos.” Users can upload videos from 15 to 60 seconds long, include filters, add music and sound, and more. Young people are the most popular users who both browse and produce content. The videos tend to be in specialized areas and can be humorous, informative, instructional, galvanizing, or just plain silly.
If you’re a marketer, you’ve probably wondered just what this app can do for you, and how you can engage potential customers there. After all, TikTok has over 2 billion users globally and nearly 66 million in the United States alone. This means that, as we’ve realized with social media in the past, this form of social media is a great way to reach people with an interest in your product or service.
As with every new platform, however, there’s a learning curve. TikTok is an extremely unique app in that it allows for highly customizable video content, but it moves faster and behaves differently than other social media platforms. It’s also got a very different audience with different priorities, who are interested in engagement marketing rather than one-sided interactions.
So how do you make TikTok work for you?
After you’ve checked out TikTok and gotten a sense of the content that’s on there, you’ll have a good idea of whether it’s the right tool for your specific business. Then you can get to work!
Here are some tips and tricks you can use to help your company harness the power of this strange and wonderful app:
- Start a channel for your brand. One advantage of TikTok is that your content can be seen by millions of people who don’t technically follow you. The app suggests content based on your past behaviors. So as a marketer, create a channel for your business, product, or service, and experiment with different kinds of videos. Similarly to Instagram, Facebook, and other social media juggernauts, there’s a certain kind of content that attracts attention. Get creative about the various things that can make your channel unique and keep users coming back.
- Assess your demographics. If your product is aimed at senior citizens, TikTok probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking to drive a much younger age group to your business, or develop a younger audience, TikTok is a perfect place to start. 80% of TikTok users are 16 to 34, solidly covering both Gen Z and Millennial users. Strategically think about how you’re going to engage that age group by learning what gets a lot of views.
- Work with influencers. As with previous social media platforms, TikTok has influencers galore, and they’re reaching that demographic you probably want: Young people who hold the purse strings of the future. Find an influencer (someone with a solid number of followers, preferably from your own community) who is interested in your business, and see how they might be willing to work with you.
- Ask people who use your product to upload their own content. If you’ve developed a customer following for a product or service, see if your customers have TikTok and can upload fun videos about their experience. They can show themselves using the product or just discuss their passion for it.
- Use #HashtagChallenges. #HashtagChallenges are one of the biggest and best ways to drive results. Plus, they’re fun and engaging. Start a #HashtagChallenge about your product or service, or something related to your business, then ask users you know and influencers to help your hashtag take off. For example, if you’re a fitness company, you could take a cue from #ThePushUpChallenge and see if you can get people to complete a fitness task on the app. If something picks up, your brand gets plenty of attention! Click here for TikTok’s recommendations for a great #HashtagChallenge.
- Try advertising. This is a limited opportunity, because unlike other social media platforms, TikTok is not saturated with targeted ads. A carefully thought-out ad could gain attention, particularly if its entertaining and funny. Check out TikTok’s page for more information.
- Aim for relevance, not numbers. The Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram worlds, have taught us to be motivated by likes, views, and shares. TikTok is different, particularly in the way you work with influencers. Someone with millions of followers probably isn’t going to elicit business for a mom and pop store. But if you find your niche of relevance, and a group of people who are interested in learning about what you do, you could have great success on the platform.
- Learn what others are doing. As always, it’s best to check out the competition. Here is a list of brands that are doing a great job attracting attention – and business – on Tik Tok in 2021.
- Work across apps. Using TikTok’s Fanbooster tool, you can put your creative videos to work on your other social media accounts. Instagram, Facebook, and others are becoming second homes for successful TikTok content. Plus, you probably have more followers there, and it will drive more followers to your TikTok account.
- Keep up with trends. As with all social media apps, the trends change. If you really want to be successful with TikTok, you’ll need to use it frequently, or hire someone to be in charge of it. This way, your content will continue to be relevant to your target audience and the community of users on the app.
No time to do all this extra work?
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